I love reading. I love writing. I love critique.
I recently finished a short story for an erotica competition. It was the first erotic piece I've ever written from a man's point of view. Needless to say, not having a dick can make it hard to describe the actual actions, sensations, and emotions of a man's sexual experience in an accurate way, not to mention what's going on inside his head.
After my critique, my story was a mess of comments that made me laugh at myself. I SUCK at writing from a man's point of view. This is something I need to work on. I'd go as far as asking random strangers to describe their sexual experiences, but surely that would get me locked up or committed. (Feel free to leave comments on what you specifically feel during an erection, jizzing, and blue balls in the comment section below. I'd love to hear about it)
Critique is an important part of the writing process. You can stare and stare and stare at your work for hours, reread it with a fucking microscope, and it will still be filled with typos, plot holes, poor description and inconsistencies you just don't see BECAUSE you are the one who wrote it. You don't know what to look for. You don't know what other people will pick up on. Without a second pair (or 5) of eyes before you publish or submit your work to something, you won't know what you need to work on.
Don't dread your work being shit on and ripped to shreds. Don't cry about people saying "This doesn't work," or "I have no idea what this means," and "This whole paragraph is just stupid." Thank your critique partners for their help and grow from their suggestions. I know I will. My story already sucks a lot less.